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“Mind the trap”: Mindfulness Practice Associated with Reduced Cognitive Rigidity . Jonathan Greenberg Under the supervision of Prof. Nachshon Meiran. Learning from experience is often crucial for our adaptive functioning and survival. May experience hinder adaptive responding?. Rigidity.

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“Mind the trap”: Mindfulness Practice Associated with Reduced Cognitive Rigidity


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mind the trap mindfulness practice associated with reduced cognitive rigidity

“Mind the trap”: Mindfulness Practice Associated with Reduced Cognitive Rigidity

Jonathan Greenberg

Under the supervision of Prof. Nachshon Meiran

slide3

May experience hinder adaptive responding?

Rigidity

“…The tendency to form and perseverate in the use of mental and behavioral sets”

(Schultz & Searman, 2002, pp. 1)

rigidity may play a key role in psychopathology
Rigidity may play a key role in psychopathology:
  • Suicidal Ideation
  • Depression
  • Mania
  • Eating disorders
  • OCD
  • Alcoholism
  • ADHD
slide5
A method for decreasing such rigidity may be of value regarding treatment of these and other conditions
mindfulness practice
Mindfulness Practice
  • “Paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgmentally” (Kabat-Zinn, 1994)
mindfulness associated with alleviation of symptoms in
Mindfulness associated with alleviation of symptoms in:
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Depression
  • Mania
  • Eating disorders
  • OCD
  • Alcoholism
  • ADHD
  • Psoriasis
  • PTSD
  • Chronic pain
  • Cancer
  • Heart desease
  • GAD
mindfulness and cognitive rigidity
Mindfulness and cognitive rigidity:
  • Stroop Task
  • Nonsensical sentence completion (Hayling task)
  • Verbal fluency
the present study
The present study

Mindfulness practice

Rigidity

Overcoming recently formed habits

slide10
Hypothesis: Mindfulness meditators will exhibit lower levels of rigidity than non-meditators, due to more of a “Beginners mind”.
participants
Participants
  • 12 Long term mindfulness meditators
    • 9.32 years of practice on average
    • Practicing 4 hours a week on average
  • 13 “Pre-meditators”
    • Non-meditators who are registered for their 1st mindfulness retreat
    • Equivalent in age, academic degree, academic abilities (PET score)
eisntellung water jar task
Eisntellung water jar task:
  • “Please solve the following problems. Try to solve rather quickly, yet make sure you use the shortest and simplest solution”.

(Luchins, 1942)

eisntellung water jar task1
Eisntellung water jar task
  • 6 “set” trials
  • 3 “critical” or “trap” trials
  • 2 “extinction” trials
  • Rigidity score - 1 point for each:
  • Long solution on a “critical” or “extinction” trial
  • “Extinction” trial solved in more than 90 seconds
slide20
Long term meditation associated with reduced rigidity
  • Willing and able to let go of habits, and utilize alternatives when appropriate
mindfulness and treatment of psychiatric symptoms
Mindfulness and treatment of psychiatric symptoms
  • Many conditions characterized by a stereotyped or undifferentiated view of the environment
    • “Things always go wrong”’
    • “There is no other way”
    • “The world is dangerous, I must always be alert and prepared”
  • Need for “un-learning” thought patterns and responses
current work
Current Work
  • Randomized experimental study design
  • 8 week mindfulness intervention
  • Participators vs. waiting list
  • Pre-intervention: Alphabet maze
  • Post-intervention: Water Jar task
alphabet maze
Alphabet maze

(Cowen, Wiener, & Hess, 1953)

thanks
Thanks:
  • Prof. Nachchson Meiran
  • Thank you for listening
hayling task
Hayling Task

“Please complete the sentence with an unrelated, nonsensical word as quickly as possible”:

“The captain decided to stay with the sinking…”

  • Paperclip?

(e.g Heeren,Van Broeck, & Philippot, 2009)

stroop task
Stroop Task:

“Please name the colour of the ink”:

Congruent Condition

Green

Yellow

Red

Blue

Incongruent Condition

Green

Yellow

Red

Blue

(Moore, & Malinowski, 2009)

verbal fluency
Verbal Fluency

“Say as many words as you can think of beginning with the letters F, A, and S”

(e.g Zeidan, et al, 2010; Heeren,Van Broeck, & Philippot, 2009)